June 10, 2008


The firelight shifted across his face in red-orange hues… deepening the furrow of his brow as they toasted his warriorness. He turned abruptly and strode away from the ebbing flames of battle. He joined the flickering shadows of the wood… but heard their allegiance to the protection of his wisdom. They could not hear the words in his mind that he could not scream.
“I’m no protector… I have no quarrel, even with those who challenge my right to exist.”
“I’m no warrior… I am only threat to those who would test my ability to exist.”
“I’m but survivor…”

He paused to inspect a likely glade. He had loped for distance last cycle… with an occasional power nap. He sought a natural fortress such as this. There were many niches where a lone survivor might remain hidden from a foe. But he would not be alone…
The next to follow would be those who stood with him in the ashes. Next, perhaps, those who would avenge those ashes. His friends had lingered to toast victory… but he knew the end of battle often had little to do with victory.

Nature had sheared a smooth cliff on the mountain. It overlooked a clearing where the trees feared to grow… intimidated by the random rain of rock. There was much fallen wood about… and he quickly built a fire against the cliffside.
He opened himself to the warmth of the fire… and to the setting sun whose energy would endure in the night through the wood… and to the forest… and all the energies that brought him what he needed when he needed it. He was overwhelmed with gratitude… but unsure where to place it.
He gathered enough fuel to hold the flame hot and long… then skirted the clearing and nested in the growth opposite the fire. He was pleased to see his friends gathering at the edge of clearing. He was concerned that a foe might see them as well.
A silent movement nearby lifted his spirits. Someone had the presence to send scouts. He smiled at their skill as he watched them glide silently by… inches away. He waited and watched past the all clear… past the tentative gathering in the clearing. He didn’t want to know the numbers… but he needed a feel for the traffic of his friends.
Soon it was obvious that more had poured into the glade than could be seen. He recognized the three motivations that prevailed.
There were those that took responsibility for their own survival… they had already disappeared into the available concealments. There were those that followed a presumed protection. They had made a good choice… considering the prowess of their fellows. There were even those who sought him… deluded that his desire to exist was contagious.

He was satisfied that they had every advantage he would seek in a terrain. He moved farther away as the survivors ranged deeper into the wood. Moving away from the campfire, he topped a nearby hill before the moon rose. He could stand unobserved on the peak and take a last look at his friends.
To those that were drawn to their own survival… he sent silent energy to bid them success.
To those that were drawn to follow his survival… he wondered which would he see again.
To those that sought protection… he bid a fond farewell.

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